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November 16, 2015

Visit Montana: National Bison Range

While in Montana, we thought it would be neat to go to the National Bison Range to get a chance to see bison roaming around freely.

And for just $5 per private vehicle, we thought it was such a cheap price to pay!

Before we arrived I knew the Red Sleep Mountain Drive would be closed due to moving of the bison, so I was a little worried that we wouldn't see any.

Because the drive was closed, we didn't have to pay an entrance fee at the Visitor Center, which dimmed my hopes of seeing any bison.
Hoping the bison in the Visitor Center wouldn't be the only bison we/d see.
A portion of a map at the Visitor Center indicating what types of animals you may be able to see and where

After leaving the Visitor Center, we drove along the short West Loop.

Just as we got to the end of the West Loop, my husband spotted something - a Pronghorn Antelope!

It was easy to miss, since it somewhat blended in with the grass, but we were all excited that we saw an animal!

Pronghorn Antelope

After the West Loop we drove along the Prairie Drive, and I was crossing my fingers that we'd see bison.

Sure enough, after just a few minutes on the Prairie Drive, we saw four bison!!  We were so excited!
Can you see them?

People stopped along the side of the road (and against the rules, some even walked outside of the car) to take photographs.

Pictures don't do these animals justice.  They were huge, intimidating, and impressive to see so close!


Happy that we actually saw some bison, we continued driving, in hopes of seeing more animals.

Even though the Prairie Drive is just 14 miles round trip, it took us almost an hour to drive to the end and return.  We drove along very slowly, looking for animals, and we had to be very careful since at some points along the road it's very narrow, and the road is a two-way street.

We did see a lot more bison, but very far away on the hills (binoculars are recommended), and we did see more Pronghorn Antelope, and even some Deer.
A Pronghorn Antelope at the edge of the road
Pronghorn Antelope
Can you see the deer?
The drive was beautiful - the mountains, the creeks, the wildlife - it was just quiet and relaxing!

Mission Creek
On our way back, the bison we're still grazing and lounging, and we stopped to take a few more photos.  




Fishing and hiking are permitted in certain areas, but most people were at the National Bison Range simply to see the amazing bison!

If you are visiting the Northwestern Montana area, the National Bison Range is a must-visit!

National Bison Range
Dixon, MT 59831
(406) 644-2211

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